Can we talk about … the atrocities that were committed before, during and after the Revolutionary War.

Let’s review the preamble of the Constitution of the United States: “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Last week this nation celebrated its independence, while ignoring all the history that led to be able to enjoy the freedom ... or doesn’t it matter? Just as long as the ends justify the means?

During and at the end of the Revolutionary War, not everyone was celebrating. The colonists were divided among themselves about the dispute with Britain. It became unsafe for those who remained loyal to Britain. As for the enslaved Africans, there were over 200 incidents of enslaved Africans striking out for freedom. Some had made attempts to flee from the plantations.

Even before the war, the African slaves wanted freedom. Some of them violently lashed out against the enslavers and enforcers. This caused concerns with southerners that the enslaved Africans would rise up against them. The largest uprising by enslaved Africans before the Revolutionary War was the Stono Rebellion in South Carolina. About 20 enslaved African seekers of liberty and freedom fighters secretly met near Stono River to plan an escape. As they traveled south their numbers grew. When the enslavers caught up with the freedom fighters, that bid for liberty was lost.

Just before the revolution, Patrick Henry gave a speech in March 1775 to the Second Virginia Convention that credited him as saying, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” The colonists who were called patriots were willing to fight for their liberty but denied the enslaved Africans their liberty. This war put the enslaved Africans in a difficult position. The British disseminated information that if the enslaved Africans joined the British Army, they would be liberated. The enslaved Africans had their own “grapevine,” and from Maryland to Georgia the enslaved Africans were planning for freedom. The enslavers started organizing patrols at night to keep an eye on each other’s “human chattel.”

After seeing the exodus of enslaved Africans willing to be freedom fighters, that led patriots to counter the British move with an offering to the enslaved Africans of freedom if they fought for the patriots. With the aid of the enslaved Africans, the French Navy, French ground troops, General Washington and the Continental Army defeated the British. The patriots’ fight for independence ended on Oct. 19, 1781, when General Cornwallis surrender in Yorktown.

Can we talk?

Did the British and Americans keep their word with the enslaved Africans?

Did the British actually arm enslaved Africans for battle?

Did the patriots actually arm the enslaved Africans for battle?

Know Thy Self

To know ourselves is to be aware of our inclinations that draw us closer to or further from our true selves. We need to identify what has led us into detrimental behavioral patterns such as dishonesty, aggression, surrendering yourself to substances that control your will, blaming others for our misdeeds and being accountable for our own choices. We need to understand the differences between making a mistake and bad decisions.

Take time to reassess yourself daily so that you can remain moral, respectful, fair, kind, trustworthy and responsible, assess how you interact your character socially and to continue to be aware and vigilant of the ego controlling your behavior and declaring you to be self-righteous.

May we be Respectful, Tolerant and Patient; live in Peace and Love as we be Consistent in our journey in the Light.

Alibaba Lumumba a believer of peace who sees Arcadia’s potential and wants to participate in the evolving process in the future of the city and DeSoto County.

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